Life is full of wonderful and sometimes very difficult detours. We may have a vision of how our life and relationships will be in the short term and long term, however, this vision may not always end up becoming our reality.
The decision to move forward with a separation or divorce is often a difficult one. We know that whatever decision is made will impact each partner as an individual and as a parent/caregiver. We also know it will impact children.
Frank Herbert once said, “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story”. This is one way of looking at the changes in families; the other way is to recognize that with no real ending you also do need to stop the story and may just need to re-write some of the chapters.
The research tells us that one of the most important things we can do for our children is cultivate a warm, welcoming, kind and predictable space for connections to continue to flourish. Connection and relationship are among the most important lifelines to wellness and belonging that we can strive for.
Gordon Neufeld is a developmental psychologist and awell-known author who ascribes to John Bowlby’s attachment theory. https://neufeldinstitute.org Gordon Neufeld suggests that “children need to trust and depend upon those who are responsible for them.”
During a time of stress, it may be helpful to remember that literally “being with” your children and sharing the joy, laughter and sadness is one way of communicating, by your actions, that there is path ahead and together- you can be amazing as individuals and a family even if we have written some new chapters.
It may also be helpful to notice when you think, or your child thinks, it might be helpful to talk to a professional about how they are feeling and managing.
Think of how you feel when you look at the image in this article, and think about how you can create and nurture that kind of space for your kids.
When you notice it is more and more difficult to do this- reaching out is always an option!
At Brant Mental Health Solutions, all of our therapists offer free 15-minute consultations to talk about what counselling may look like for you, your child and family.
Written by Registered Social Worker, Sharon Walker.
This article is not designed to replace seeking the help of a trained mental health professional.